Alcohol consumption in pregnancy may result in serious adverse fetal outcome. Non- or low alcoholic wines and beers may be a risk-reduction strategy to help alcohol-dependent individuals to prevent or limit ethanol consumption. The objective of this study was to quantify ethanol concentrations in Canadian beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content.
Forty-five different beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content in the Canadian market were tested for ethanol concentration using gas chromatography.
Thirteen (29%) of the beverages contained ethanol levels higher than the declared concentration on their label. Six beverages claiming to contain no alcohol were found to contain greater than 1% ethanol.
Pregnant women seeking replacement to alcoholic beverages may be misled by these labels, unknowingly exposing themselves and their unborn babies to ethanol.
to establish national standards of care for the screening and recording of alcohol use and counselling on alcohol use of women of child-bearing age and pregnant women based on the most up-to-date evidence.
published literature was retrieved through searches of PubMed, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library in May 2009 using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e.g., pregnancy complications, alcohol drinking, prenatal care) and key words (e.g., pregnancy, alcohol consumption, risk reduction). Results were restricted to literature published in the last five years with the following research designs: systematic reviews, randomized control trials/controlled clinical trials, and observational studies. There were no language restrictions. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to May 2010. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment (HTA) and HTA-related agencies, national and international medical specialty societies, clinical practice guideline collections, and clinical trial registries. Each article was screened for relevance and the full text acquired if determined to be relevant. The evidence obtained was reviewed and evaluated by the members of the Expert Workgroup established by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. The quality of evidence was evaluated and recommendations were made according to guidelines developed by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
the quality of evidence was rated using the criteria described by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (Table 1).
the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
these consensus guidelines have been endorsed by the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Quebec; the Canadian Association of Midwives; the Canadian Association of Perinatal, Women's Health and Neonatal Nurses (CAPWHN); the College of Family Physicians of Canada; the Federation of Medical Women of Canada; the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada; and Motherisk. SUMMARY STATEMENTS: 1. There is evidence that alcohol consumption in pregnancy can cause fetal harm. (II-2) There is insufficient evidence regarding fetal safety or harm at low levels of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. (III) 2. There is insufficient evidence to define any threshold for low-level drinking in pregnancy. (III) 3. Abstinence is the prudent choice for a woman who is or might become pregnant. (III) 4. Intensive culture-, gender-, and family-appropriate interventions need to be available and accessible for women with problematic drinking and/or alcohol dependence. (II-2).
1. Universal screening for alcohol consumption should be done periodically for all pregnant women and women of child-bearing age. Ideally, at-risk drinking could be identified before pregnancy, allowing for change. (II-2B) 2. Health care providers should create a safe environment for women to report alcohol consumption. (III-A) 3. The public should be informed that alcohol screening and support for women at risk is part of routine women's health care. (III-A) 4. Health care providers should be aware of the risk factors associated with alcohol use in women of reproductive age. (III-B) 5. Brief interventions are effective and should be provided by health care providers for women with at-risk drinking. (II-2B) 6. If a woman continues to use alcohol during pregnancy, harm reduction/treatment strategies should be encouraged. (II-2B) 7. Pregnant women should be given priority access to withdrawal management and treatment. (III-A) 8. Health care providers should advise women that low-level consumption of alcohol in early pregnancy is not an indication for termination of pregnancy. (II-2A).
One of my pregnant patients tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus. Will HIV therapy put her pregnancy outcome at risk?
The biggest risk is vertical transmission of HIV to her baby. She should be treated with combination therapy; triple therapy is required to reduce vertical transmission. Zidovudine is not teratogenic in humans, but information on other antiretroviral drugs is incomplete.
The prevalence of opioid abuse is increasing in North America. Opioid abuse during pregnancy can cause medical, obstetric and psychosocial complications. Neonates exposed to opioids in utero often develop the neonatal abstinence syndrome. Methadone maintenance therapy is the treatment of choice for maternal opioid dependency. There have been unsupported concerns that infants cared for by mothers treated with methadone have higher mortality rates during the first year of life than in the general population.
To compare the mortality rates of infants exposed to methadone in utero to those of general population in Ontario, Canada.
We utilized several provincial and national databases including those of the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and the Ontario Infant Mortality Rate Report. Reference organ weights were obtained from the peer reviewed literature.
The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario has reported 8 deaths in children under one associated with in utero methadone exposure between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010. Over the same period there have been a total of 1103 cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome recorded in the province. The mean infant mortality rate in Ontario for children under the age of 1year over the same period was 5.2 per 1000 live births. The odds ratio for mortality among children with neonatal abstinence syndrome was not different from that in the general population [OR 1.45 (95% confidence interval 0.471-4.459)] (p=0.56).
The available data do not support the concerns that children under the age of one year, born to mothers on methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) are at an increased risk for mortality.
Secondhand smoke is associated with a myriad of adverse health outcomes. Therefore, it is essential for clinicians to ask precise questions about exposures, particularly for children. We present 4 questions that incorporate several locations of exposure and provide a more comprehensive account of children's smoke exposures than maternal smoking alone.
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Potential adverse effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure on child development are still debated. The possibility that associations are due to genetic or familial environmental risk factors rather than antidepressant use per se cannot easily be ruled out in conventional studies. Our objective was therefore to evaluate the association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and behavioural problems in a sibling controlled study.
This study used data on 20?180 siblings identified from the population-based Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study recruited between 1999 and 2008. The mothers were asked to report antidepressant use at gestational weeks 17 and 30 and 6 months post-partum. Child Behavioral Checklist syndrome scales were used to assess externalizing and internalizing behavioural problems by questionnaires sent to mothers at 18 and 36 months postpartum. We performed unmatched and matched sibling analyses using both random- and fixed-effects linear models, respectively, to determine potential behavioural effects of antidepressant exposure.
Prenatal exposure to antidepressants was associated with increased levels of anxiety symptoms in 3 year old children after adjusting for maternal familial effects and confounding by indication (i.e. maternal depression). Effect of prenatal exposure to antidepressants was specific to anxiety, and not associated with emotional reactivity, somatic complaints, sleep problems, attention problems or aggression.
Using a sibling design, we showed that prenatal antidepressant use was specifically associated with increased anxiety symptoms after adjusting for maternal familial factors and confounding by indication.
In Canada the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is estimated to be 1 in 100 live births. FASD is the leading cause of developmental and cognitive disabilities in Canada. Only one study has examined the cost of FASD in Canada. In that study we did not include prospective data for infants under the age of one year, costs for adults beyond 21 years or costs for individuals living in institutions.
To calculate a revised estimate of direct and indirect costs associated with FASD at the patient level.
Cross-sectional study design was used. Two-hundred and fifty (250) participants completed the study tool. Participants included caregivers of children, youth and adults, with FASD, from day of birth to 53 years, living in urban and rural communities throughout Canada participated. Participants completed the Health Services Utilization Inventory (HSUI). Key cost components were elicited: direct costs: medical, education, social services, out-of-pocket costs; and indirect costs: productivity losses. Total average costs per individual with FASD were calculated by summing the costs for each in each cost component, and dividing by the sample size. Costs were extrapolated to one year. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to identify significant determinants of costs and to calculate the adjusted annual costs associated with FASD.
Total adjusted annual costs associated with FASD at the individual level was $21,642 (95% CI, $19,842; $24,041), compared to $14,342 (95% CI, $12,986; $15,698) in the first study. Severity of the individual's condition, age, and relationship of the individual to the caregiver (biological, adoptive, foster) were significant determinants of costs (p
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) rank as one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the developed world, and the direct medical costs of ADRs exceed $100 billion annually in the United States alone. Pharmacogenomics research seeks to identify genetic factors that are responsible for individual differences in drug efficacy and susceptibility to ADRs. This has led to several genetic tests that are currently being used to provide clinical recommendations. The Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety is a nation-wide effort established in Canada to identify novel predictive genomic markers of severe ADRs in children and adults. A surveillance network has been established in 17 of Canada's major hospitals to identify patients experiencing specific ADRs and to collect biological samples and relevant clinical history for genetic association studies. To identify ADR-associated genetic markers that could be incorporated into predictive tests that will reduce the occurrence of serious ADRs, high-throughput genomic analyses are conducted with samples from patients that have suffered serious ADRs and matched control patients.
ADRs represent a significant unmet medical problem with significant morbidity and mortality, and Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety is a nation-wide network in Canada that seeks to identify genetic factors responsible for interindividual differences in susceptibility to serious ADRs.
Active ADR surveillance is necessary to identify and recruit patients who suffer from serious ADRs. National and international collaborations are required to recruit sufficient patients for these studies. Several pharmacogenomics tests are currently in clinical use to provide dosing recommendations, and the number of pharmacogenomics tests is expected to significantly increase in the future.
It seems to me that cancer is occurring or being diagnosed more frequently among young women who are or might become pregnant. In the past year, I have seen several such women in my practice and I have had difficulty finding appropriate information in order to counsel them. Is there somewhere I can go for information about cancer during pregnancy so that I can better educate and inform these patients?
The Motherisk Program at the Hospital for Sick Children supports an on-line Cancer in Pregnancy Forum where physicians and other health care professionals can submit questions or details of experiences that they have had with patients who had cancer during pregnancy. Questions about the safety of chemotherapeutic drugs before and during pregnancy and about possible exacerbation of previous cancer by pregnancy are most common.